Access to paid content on this site is currently suspended due to excessive activity being detected from your IP address Please contact the publisher to request reinstatement.
July 1983

Breathing Life Into Medical Writing

Author Affiliations



by Anitra Peebles-Sheen, 108 pp, $12.95, St Louis, CV Mosby Co, 1982.

Arch Surg. 1983;118(7):882-883. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1983.01390070090023

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


In bygone days when there was not much to read or new to learn, physicians could afford the luxury of bad writing. But now we are flooded with compulsory reading and resent the impudence of an author who wastes our time by writing badly. This book is designed to help physicians write well. It is the medical counterpart of Strunk and White's Elements of Style, which has been my handout to all colleagues who aspire to publish.

As a medical editor, Peebles-Sheen obviously has harbored pet peeves against sloppy authors for years and, in this crisp little book, vents her spleen so that future authors may avoid common errors. It is all there: organization, revisions, rewriting, passive v active voice, vague words, and gobbledygook. When the text gets a little dry, like cold cereal, she sweetens it with samples and problems. Unlike previous texts on medical writing, such as those

First Page Preview View Large
First page PDF preview
First page PDF preview